Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

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Friday 31 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Back to Russia

Today we are heading back to Russia where I will be giving a series of lectures, celebrating Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day, and also initiating a new disciple. It is always a great joy for us to return to Russia because of the wonderful loving exchanges we have with the devotees there. Even though where we go there is no temple and no material facilities, because of the loving relationships between the devotees it is very pleasing. As I have many times stated before, ISKCON is not the buildings or the properties; it's not the vehicles or the bank accounts or even the deities. ISKCON is the loving exchanges between the devotees. So even if we lose everything else and we have only the loving relationships between the devotees, ISKCON will not be dead. Just like recently in Kazakhstan the demoniac Muslim government has taken away the land, the temple, and the homes of the devotees and left them with nothing. The devotees have been robbed of all material facilities by the rascal so-called leaders. But because of the strong loving relationships between all of the devotees, our movement cannot die there. It will continue to grow and flourish.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Blissful Russian Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Have to Suffer?

The Lord is all powerful, but why does He make us suffer, even if we don't want to suffer? It is said that since we are independent and so since we had some material desires we came to this world. But the Lord is our father, so He can take that freedom or independence from us so that we don't suffer.

Another question is: What is the difference between Vaikuntha and Goloka Vrindavan?

And, is it true that even if we worship different incarnations of Krishna we come back to this material world?

If we go back to Godhead, do we come back again?

Diksha

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Answer: We Do Not Have to Suffer

When a small child disobeys his parents and sticks his hand in the fire, did his parents make him suffer? No, of course not. The parents do not want him to suffer, and they train him in such a way that he will not suffer. But if he is so foolish as to disobey his parents, then he must suffer. It would be wrong to think that his parents made him suffer. He suffered because he disobeyed his parents.

One could argue that if the parents bound the child's hands and legs with ropes and tied him to his bed, that he would not have burned his hand. But this is a type of suffering even worse than burning his hand. If he burns his hand, it will eventually heal. But if he remains a prisoner in his own home, this will never heal.

So try to understand this example in relationship to the Lord and the living entities. If the Lord were to take away their independence and force them to remain in the spiritual world, this would be a worse suffering than the temporary pains endured in the cycle of birth and death. By misusing their independence and coming to the material world they no doubt suffer a lot due to their own foolishness. But that suffering will soon be over, and they will return to an eternal life of bliss and knowledge in the spiritual world as soon as they surrender themselves fully to the Lord.

The entire spiritual world is known as the Vaikuntha realm. "Vai" means "without," and "kuntha" means "anxiety." So that place where anxiety is conspicuous by its absence is known as the Vaikuntha realm. Within that Vaikuntha realm there are millions and billions of planets presided over by different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. And out of all these millions and billions of planets there is one special planet known as Krishnaloka or Goloka Vrindavan where the Supreme Lord manifests His original and most intimate form as Krishna.

If you purely worship Krishna or any of His incarnations, you will enter into the spiritual world at the time of death.

Once having tasted the miseries of this material world and then having regained your original position in the spiritual world you will not make the same mistake twice. Once burned, twice shy. You will not come here again. So now take your human form of life seriously and finish up your business once and for all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 30 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Manifest Due Diligence


Considering that all material attainments are only temporary and that the results of attaining spiritual perfection are eternal, it is simple common sense that the primary focus of our lives should be on spiritual awakening. Therefore we are behooved to not be neglectful and to manifest due diligence in regards to reviving our dormant Krishna consciousness. Any other course of action would be grossly foolish and a pitiable waste of this rarely achieved, most valuable human form of life. If we do opt to faithfully execute our duty of reconnecting ourselves with the Supreme Absolute Truth, we will be living in a sublime paradise at every minute even while surrounded by a hellish material atmosphere on all sides.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Lecture at Lithuania's Klaipeda University

Chanting and Dancing Bliss

Students Flood Book Table After Lecture...

...and Eagerly Purchase Our Books


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is No Chanting an Acceptable Path?

I look forward to reading your email everyday. I would like to start chanting and also following the regulative principles (which in fact I very much do). I lead an extremely busy life with my wife working full time, I have my own practice, two children with all their needs. I feel so strapped for time, it seems that by the end of every day, I have a hundred things not done, which I should have!

I have tried chanting, but I almost start resenting the time that I spend doing that, as every minute of the day seems to be earmarked for doing something. By the night I am so tired that I can hardly keep my eyes open.

I lead a very simple life and think of Krishna, while doing my everyday chores, like driving etc. I know my life will improve in the next couple of years, and I will be able to follow a more rigorous chanting schedule etc. I feel very guilty that I am not able to chant, and when I do, my mind is going a hundred miles an hour.

I have seen that when I listen to a Bhajan, I am able to concentrate more (at least a little bit longer). Is this an acceptable path at this time.... Or some chanting is imperative for spiritual growth....

Please enlighten me.

Hare Krishna

Your student

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Answer: Not If You Want to Progress

Regulated chanting is imperative for spiritual advancement. Go to bed as early as possible and rise as early as possible before sunrise. Take your morning shower and then sit peacefully for as long as possible and chant the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads. If you do this every day without fail, you will experience the most amazing, profound transformation of consciousness of your entire life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 29 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Finish Up Your Business


This human form of life is meant for becoming spiritually perfect. It is not meant for material advancement. Of course, whatever material advancement is favorable for advancing our Krishna consciousness may also be accepted. It is not that we have to abandon all comforts and live in caves. But at the same time we must be very cautious to not become intoxicated by material advancement considering it to be the end all and be all of our existence. We must very soberly realize that our most valuable human form of life can end at any time and finish up our business of becoming perfect in Krishna consciousness as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Isn't Everyone Equal?

When it is said that we should be neutral in happiness and distress, doesn't this mean that we should see everyone with one eye as a soul with everybody being equal? So why do we glorify Krishna and not the other incarnations? Shouldn't the demigods also be considered equal?

Rajnish

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Answer: No

Seeing happiness and distress with an equal eye does not mean that everybody is the same. It means that a fully realized transcendentalist experiences happiness and distress equally as manifestations of Krishna's mercy. Why do you say that we glorify Krishna and not the other incarnations? Even in the Hare Krishna mantra we are glorifying Lord Rama. You have incorrectly concluded that we do not glorify Krishna's other incarnations.

Regarding considering the demigods to be equal kindly ponder the following points:

In these days of so-called political correctness it may be a very popular view to say that everyone is the same. But where do we see practically that anyone is the same? Everyone possesses a certain amount of wealth. I possess a certain amount; you possess a certain amount. We see practically that everyone possesses different quantities of wealth. If we say in the name of equality that everyone possesses the same amount of wealth, is that a very intelligent and proper statement? No. It is not, because it is not true. God is that person Who possesses all the wealth, therefore He is more wealthy than everyone else. This is why He is described in Sanskrit language as Bhagavan, the one who possesses all opulences. Thus we address Krishna as Bhagavan because He is confirmed in the Vedic literatures as being the possessor of all opulences.

The demigods are in a different category. They are the deputed agents of the Lord who act as universal controllers on behalf of the Lord within this material world. Because of their highly exalted positions we offer them great respect, but we never make the mistake of thinking that they are on the same level as their master, Lord Krishna. We may honor some highly placed executives within a company, but we never make the mistake of thinking that they are the owners of the company. The owner is to be given greater respect than what we give to his employees. So while the demigods are not disrespected, at the same time we do not falsely consider them to be incarnations of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 28 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Worse than Hell and Death

The weather here in Lithuania is now cold, rainy, and ugly, and I am coming down with some sort of cold. But still the preaching must go on. The teachings of Krishna must be vibrated for the elevation of the world consciousness. When the preaching is happening the miseries cannot touch the consciousness because preaching the message of Lord Caitanya quickly elevates both the speakers and the hearers to the transcendental platform. I cannot imagine a life devoid of sharing and spreading this nectar. It would certainly be worse than hell. And, if I could preach in hell, hell would also be relishable. But to live without sharing and spreading Krishna consciousness would definitely be worse than hell and worse than death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

More Photos from Sri Vyas Puja Celebration


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Work the Process?

I have some confusion and am requesting your clarification, if it be your desire. In the Lesson C20 you said, "This process works, if you work the process." What do you exactly mean by working the process? What is the process exactly and how do we exactly work it?

Thank You very much,

Your servant,

Hiten Pindoria

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Answer: Follow These Items

How to execute the process of Krishna consciousness is very elaborately described in a book entitled "The Nectar of Devotion" by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The basic principles are as follows:

(1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master;
(2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him;
(3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion;
(4) following in the footsteps of great acharyas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master;
(5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Krishna consciousness;
(6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna (this means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Krishna, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept);
(7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrindavana;
(8) accepting only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary;
(9) observing the fasting day on Ekadasi;
(10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 27 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

For Strengthening the Movement


My disciples here in Kaunas, Lithuania have done an excellent job of keeping me fully engaged in preaching Krishna consciousness every day by arranging non-stop preaching for me. I am simply going from one program to another program to another program. There is nothing sweeter than traveling and preaching all over the world for strengthening the Krishna consciousness movement more and more so that some day its members will become so pure and spiritually strong that the world leaders will all be inspired by seeing their example to study the writings of Srila Prabhupada and utilize them for guiding their respective nations in an enlightening and progressive manner.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Have You Realized the Absolute Truth?

Can Absolute Truth be realized? If so, do you know it from direct experience that your methods work?

Humbly,

Travis Gardineer

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Answer: I Am Tasting the Absolute Truth at Every Minute

Just as we cannot make the sun rise in the morning, by our power it is not possible to realize the Absolute Truth by our own strength. However just as when the sun rises out of its own accord we can clearly see the light of day, in a similar way, when the Absolute Truth reveals Himself to us out of His causeless mercy, we can fully realize the Absolute Truth. But if we keep our eyes tightly closed shut like an owl, we will never see the light of day. Therefore the spiritual master mercifully comes to us and forces our eyes open with the shining lamp of transcendental knowledge.

Even though I was in the deepest, darkest ignorance I was blessed by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna's pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, with the highest realization of the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. And now since 1971 I have been living in a constant state of realization of the Absolute Truth by being engaged 24 hours daily in Lord Krishna's service in a state of perfect happiness and full knowledge.

So I know from firsthand experience that this process of Krishna consciousness works because I am tasting the sweetest nectar of Absolute Truth realization at every minute by being always engaged in Krishna's service. And if you are willing, I can teach you how you can realize the Absolute Truth also.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 26 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

We Are Not Entitled To Be God

There is no reason at all to suffer in this miserable material existence because this is not our actual home. We are actually residents of that wondrous transcendental abode where all suffering is conspicuous by its absence, the Vaikuntha realm where the Supreme Lord eternally resides engaging in unlimited loving pastimes with His pure devotees. We simply must get back to our original enlightened nature, which we enjoyed eternally before we made the foolish mistake of playing with fire by our desire to see what it would be like if we were God. This is the forbidden apple that is mentioned in the Bible. We can enjoy unlimited happiness as a servant of God in His eternal kingdom. But there is one thing that we are not entitled to. We are not entitled to be God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari
2008 Vyas Puja Homage E-Book
is now online at:
http://backtohome.com/vyas-puja/2008.pdf


Sri Vyas Puja Celebration


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where are the Holy Dhamas?

Guruji, I just humbly want to enquire, as you have said about Mayapur and Sri Vrindavan Dhama, that they are apparently (though not factually) situated in India. I did not get the proper understanding of the same. These two holiest Dhamas are in India, where the last remnants of the Vedic culture are still present. If they are not in India, then where are they actually situated ? Just my confusion. Kindly accept my apologies if I have said something wrong.

Your humblest sevak,

Anupam Saxena

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Answer: In the Transcendental World, But With a Doorway in India

When one enters into Mayapur or Vrindavan in the proper consciousness he is actually entering into the spiritual world. So although these holy abodes are connected with material places in a material country on a material planet, they are transcendental to this material world. Their material locations are doors through which one can pass only by the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master. By his grace one can actually enter into the holy dhamas, which exist eternally in the spiritual sky and have expanded into this material world to give us a doorway to the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 


Here is Sriman Sankarshan Prabhu's 2008
Vyas Puja Homage e-book:

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=EHlpW&m=1bANAIYmXB5ryr&b=jsTS3eBbiTXyJuHi9m3aXQ
 

Saturday 25 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Vyasa Puja Celebration

Because the spiritual master is a bona fide representative of Srila Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of God who compiled the Vedic wisdom, when we worship the spiritual master our worship goes automatically to Srila Vyasadeva. Therefore we celebrate the appearance day of the spiritual master as Vyasa Puja. By worshipping the spiritual master on this most sacred of days we give the greatest pleasure to the Supreme Lord because He states that the person who is His devotee is not His devotee, that His real devotee is the devotee of His devotee. So this sacred act of worshipping the spiritual master enables us to become genuine devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, by solidly connecting us with Him through the medium of the spiritual master, the bona fide representative of Srila Vyasadeva.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

At the University of Vyatautus, the Great
Kaunas, Lithuania--23 October 2008


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is Krishna?


Is Lord Krishna a spiritual figure or physical figure or a representation of vast cosmic energy or a symbol our ancestors created of someone or something which created us and whole universe because of which we should be eternally grateful and serve him every moment?

I remain your humble student,

Sudhir

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Answer: The Original Person

Krishna is not a symbol or a representation of something else. He is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Original Person, from whom everything and everyone derives existence. He was not created by the fertile imagination of our ancestors. It's the other way around. He is our creator and the creator of our ancestors also. Therefore we must be forever grateful to Him and serve Him at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 24 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Resilience

In this material world devastating experiences can occur at any second without warning. Therefore we must cultivate resilience, the ability to handle shocking experiences without being overwhelmed. The transcendentalist, the person who is fixed in Krishna consciousness, is fully equipped in this regard. Armed with transcendental knowledge he sees through the eyes of the scriptures how everything is happening within the perfect arrangement of Lord Krishna for the deliverance of the fallen, conditioned souls of this world back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore he never becomes bewildered or confused in any circumstance. He puts his complete faith and trust in Lord Krishna and is thus always able to remain peaceful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Faith?

While learning how to practice Krishna consciousness I have realized that faith holds a very important position in our life. But unfortunately it is given a very perverted impression by the modern scientists. My questions today is based on faith. Can you elaborately explain:

What is faith? And where does it originate from?

Your servant,

Viraj

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Answer: Unflinching Trust in Something Sublime

Srila Prabhupada explains that faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. Faith is a natural part of human existence. It originates in Krishna, the source of all faith.

The word faith also can be applied to ordinary things. When we eat some food we have faith that nobody has put poison it it. When we step onto an elevator we have faith that the cable will not break. In so many ways every day we put our faith. We see also that the people in general put their faith in the scientists. Even though they cannot personally verify what the scientists are telling them, they take the scientists' words on faith. So just as they are putting faith in the words of the scientists, we are putting our faith in the words of Krishna. The difference is that the scientists are constantly changing their version of reality, while Krishna never changes His. Who are you more likely to believe: someone who is always changing his story or someone who consistently sticks to exactly the same conclusion? So, whose faith is better?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 23 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Holistic Solution

While the human society is being besieged by an overwhelming plethora of woes, its leaders are naively trying to solve them one at a time in an atomistic fashion that does not take into account the underlying principle which is the root cause of all the problems. Such an approach will never be successful because it does not recognize the cancer, which if left unchecked will gradually dismantle the modern civilization.

That cancer is the false sense of proprietorship. Even though we come to this world with nothing and leave this world with nothing, here we are in the middle claiming, "This is my property," and fighting over the stolen bread.

We have to realize that nothing is ours, that everything is the property of that supreme person Who is the source of all existence. If we recognize the supreme proprietor and engage everything in His service, immediate world wide peace and prosperity will be the wonderful result. Now we simply must realize this ourselves as reflected in our thoughts, words, and deeds and convince everyone else to see reality as it actually is. This is our duty and our mission. This holistic approach to all the world's problems will be highly effective and completely successful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Your Religion and How to Join?

Please could I have some more information on what your religion includes and what I would have to do if I wanted to join it?

Thanks,

Adam

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Answer: Read and Follow the Bhagavad-gita

The word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religare", which means to reconnect. So the real meaning of religion is to reconnect with your actual self and the Supreme Self of which your actual self is an emanation. So real religion is not something that is imposed upon the mind. It is the stripping away of all those things that have been imposed upon the mind.

To understand real religion in full I suggest that you carefully read Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It is available at all ISKCON centers worldwide, at all leading bookstores, and online at:

http://www.e-vedas.com/books/bg.htm

If you will carefully read and follow the instructions contained in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, you will automatically be a member of that super elite group of enlightened individuals who are becoming perfect in spiritual realization and leading the world out of chaos. They are the in the topmost category of religionists on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 22 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Back to Helsinki

Our short overnight visit to Helsinki was indeed wonderful. Whenever I am at our ISKCON temple in Helsinki, Finland I feel that I am at home. It is being expertly and wonderfully managed by Sriman Tattvavada Das Brahmacari, a very dedicated preacher of Srila Prabhupada's movement. There is a substantial crew of about 20 full time ashram members. These highly dedicated men and women work together extremely well in an ongoing program of serving the temple deities, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and preaching Krishna conscious in Helsinki and throughout Finland. The ashram members also regularly go for training and inspiration to the most holy places in the entire universe, Sri Mayapur Dham and Sri Vrindavan Dham, which are apparently (though not factually) located in India. It is always a most delightful experience for me to associate with a community of devotees who are strictly following the instructions of ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Ecstatic Devotees Sharing the Bliss of Krishna Consciousness in Downtown Helsinki, Finland


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna the Doer of Our Misdeeds?


Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.

You mention that not even a blade of grass moves without Krishna's will. Does this also mean that whatever bad we do or behave is because Krishna is doing it and not ourselves? Can we just blame Him and continue doing it? Please, Guru Maharaja, explain it to me as I find it very difficult to understand.

Sdooraree

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Answer: We are the Doers of Our Misdeeds

What happens to you is under the sanction of Krishna. But what you do, whether you choose to obey the orders of Krishna or disobey those orders, is under your control. If you disobey His orders, you will suffer. And if you choose to obey His orders, you will reap the unlimited benefit of realizing and being fully reinstated in your eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss identity as His servant in that most wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 21 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Tolerance in Adversity

Due to the incompetence of an airport staff member in Copenhagen we were not allowed to board our 8:55am flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki. Not understanding properly the policy of the airline she represented, the lady at the gate confiscated our boarding passes and told us that our tickets did not allow us to fly. We were unnecessarily forced to go through a tremendous amount of hassle reclaiming our luggage, getting our tickets changed, and checking in for the second time for a later flight all for no reason. And all this was while Visnupriya Mataji was wheel-chair ridden and feeling very weak and sick.

By Krishna's grace the wheelchair attendant, Salvatore, who was assigned to get Mataji to the airplane, did a tremendous job of dealing with this crazy quagmire in the most expedient manner possible. He situated Mataji in a comfortable, quiet private sitting room and even got her a blanket. He and I then went and took care of all the red tape within about an hour while Mataji was able to rest comfortably. In such situations, when things go really haywire we simply have to be tolerant and depend on Krishna, while at the same time doing our best to resolve the difficulty as quickly and as effectively as possible. Krishna always remains the ultimate controller over everything that is happening. Nothing, not even the movement of a blade of grass, can happen without His sanction. So in all circumstances we have to be tolerant and patient and expertly deal with whatever the material energy may give us in a mood of complete dependence on the mercy of Krishna. If we do this, everything will always work out okay.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Conquering Sex Desires

My problem is that I feel myself more attracted towards young, beautiful girls than I feel attracted towards the Lord. Perhaps I have not become successful yet in conquering my sexual desires that is why I am not feeling oneness with Lord Krishna. Please guide me to overcome this problem.

Thank you,

Amit,

Delhi, India

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Answer: See the Body for What It Is

Kindly remember that if the spirit soul were not present in a beautiful girl's body, her body would be nothing more than a disgusting lump of decomposing chemicals. So, what is actually attractive is the spirit-soul not the material body. And the spirit-soul is attractive because it is part and parcel of the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. So what you are actually attracted to is Krishna, not the the material body. But you are presently in a state of illusion thinking that the body is the actual self, and your mind is being carried way by the desire to associate with a bag of mucus, bile, pus, blood, bones, veins, muscle, stool and urine. That your mind is being carried away by this is an indication that you are not sufficiently taking shelter of the holy names of the Lord. So now you must increase both the quality and quantity of your chanting. By doing this on a steady basis, your feelings of attraction for the material energy will gradually be transformed into feelings of attraction for the spiritual energy. You will no longer feel frustrated and bewildered by a desire to enjoy that which is not enjoyable. Your mind will become completely peaceful and satisfied by being restored to its original, natural, healthy condition of pure love for God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 20 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Surrender Means...

Today we are flying from Copenhagen to Helsinki. I never dreamed when we flew into Copenhagen on 1 October what would unfold here. What was supposed to be a three day stay turned into almost three weeks. I remember as we left the airport I was thinking that soon we would be back again at the airport to fly on to our next destination. I never envisioned that I would be forced to cancel so many lectures and completely re-arrange my preaching schedule. I could not foresee that I was going to spend the better part of my waking hours in hospitals. It was a graphic lesson for me that we are not the controllers. We are instead tiny servants in the hands of Krishna. He can do anything and everything that He wants to do with us according to His purposes to bring us back to His kingdom as soon as possible and also to engage us in bringing back as many as possible of the fallen, conditioned souls of this world back to His kingdom as well. We have to always be ready to engage in any way that Krishna wants to engage us. This is the real meaning of surrender. Surrender does not mean doing what we want to do for Krishna. Surrender means always doing what Krishna wants, even if we do not want to do it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Male or Female Birth?

It is stated in 18 October 2008's "Questions and Answers":

"But when the soul desires to taste material enjoyment he takes birth in a temporary material body to try to become happy by fulfilling his material desires."

My questions are:

What decides whether the body is of male or female, human or animal?

Each birth is a fallen soul? or from a single fallen soul we are taking birth?

Renumol,

Madras

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Answer: According to Your Mentality

The soul takes a male or female body according to his or her thoughts at the time of leaving the previous body. If someone dies thinking of a woman, they become a woman. And if someone dies thinking of a man, they take birth as a man.

If someone is sincerely endeavoring to give up material sense gratification and become liberated from the cycle of birth and death, they will take birth as a human being. And if someone is absorbed in thoughts of material sense gratification, they will take birth as an animal.

As long as we remain in the fallen state of material consciousness we will take birth after birth after birth in this material world. Your identity is that you are one soul. You have been transmigrating for millions and millions of lifetimes trying to enjoy material sense gratification in this way and that way, sometimes as a male, sometimes as a female, sometimes as a human being, and sometimes as an animal. Since time immemorial you have been caught up an endless cycle of birth and death. But if you will now take your human birth very seriously and utilize it to become fully Krishna conscious, you will not take birth again in this material world. Upon leaving your present body, you will immediately go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 19 October 2008

from ISKCON Temple--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

The Prime Necessity


According to Srila Rupa Goswami, the great authority on the bhakti yoga science:

adau gurv-asrayam sad-dharma-prccha

"The very first step on the path of bhakti is to take shelter
of a bona fide spiritual master and inquire submissively from him
how to advance in Krishna consciousness."

-- Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.74

If one tries to avoid this step he cannot make any progress. It is further enjoined in this regard fin the Mundaka Upanisad that taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is an absolute must for one who is eager to realize God. And in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Chapter, verse 21, Prabuddha tells Maharaja Nimi:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jij˝asuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca ninatam
brahmany upasamasrayam


"My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there is no happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here, because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to fulfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the plane of spiritual bliss."

In connection with this verse Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in the Nectar of Devotion:

"The purport is that one should not accept as a spiritual master someone who is fool number one, who has no direction according to the scriptural injunctions, whose character is doubtful, who does not follow the principles of devotional service, or who has not conquered the influence of the six sense-gratifying agents. The six agents of sense gratification are the tongue, the genitals, the belly, anger, the mind and words. Anyone who has practiced controlling these six is permitted to make disciples all over the world. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt."

So considering all the above authoritative evidence we really have no other option than fully surrendering ourselves at the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master. Finding and surrendering to bona fide spiritual should be taken as the prime necessity of our lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Am I Your Student or Disciple?


I have a doubt about your letter from 14th of October 2008 about meat. You write there replying to your student that we should be in harmony with God by not consuming meat. Then why does the whole world do it? They do it according to the religion God made for them, like Judaism, Islam and Christianity. All these religions are the different laws of God, and it says there that they are allowed to eat meat. Then why do you say that eating meat is not in harmony with God, if God said there that it is allowed?

The second question is on the same subject. Srila Prabhupada is saying in his interviews to the Christians that in the Bible it says "thou shall not kill", and then he asks the priest, "Why do you open slaughterhouses and keep going against the Bible?" If the Bible says," Thou shall not kill", then we should not kill plants as well. Isn't this correct?

Prabhupada also says, "Why do the Christians sin and leave their sins to Jesus? They should stop sinning after Jesus has devoured their sins. But they say, 'No we should sin once more and leave the sins for Jesus.'"

What did Prabhupada mean by that? Can a human being stop sinning?

Am I your disciple or just your student? In both cases I will have the same respect and affection for you, I just wanted to know what is my formal position.

Your servant,

Indu pati das

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Answer: Student and Disciple are the Same

In all religious systems those who are sinful are allowed to eat meat under restrictions so that their sinfulness becomes minimized. Even the Vedas allow the eating of goat meat under very restrictive conditions. But such concessionary injunctions are not on the level of pure bhakti. Those who take advantage of such concessions are not qualified for pure bhakti and cannot attain the kingdom of God at the time of death.

Killing plants is also sinful. This is why we must offer them to Krishna first. If we do so, it is not sinful to kill the plant, and the plant that is offered to Krishna is greatly blessed in his progress towards attaining the human form of life in a future birth. Krishna has authorized us to become relieved of the sin of killing plants by offering them to Him before we eat, but He has not authorized that we can do this with animals. The government has a right to distinguish between what is legal and what is illegal. Just like on the highway the government orders that we must keep to the right and that if we keep to the left, we are subject to punishment.

The real meaning of human life is to stop sinning. If one continues sinning, he is an animal not a human being. In our Krishna consciousness movement we teach our members how to become actual human beings by becoming completely free from all sin. This is why we restrict our members: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling.

Student and disciple are the same. Even though the spiritual master is the best friend of the student/disciple he does not relate with student/disciple on an equal level as a friend because this will not be beneficial for the student/disciple. Instead he always takes a superior role and guides the student/disciple how to advance in spiritual understanding and practice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 18 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Connecting with Krishna


The fact is that we are eternally connected with Krishna. It is impossible for us to become disconnected from Him. It is by His energy that we exist spiritually, and it is also by His energy that our material bodies are alive and functioning properly. We cannot exist even for a minute spiritually or materially without His mercy.

So since we are already fully connected with Him 24 hours a day why then do we sometimes speak of having to connect with Him? The reason is that even though we are integrally connected with Him at every second we do not realize it. We have foolishly forgotten about Him Who is the very foundation of our existence. It is this forgetfulness of Krishna that gives us the sensation of being disconnected from Him. And in a real, practical sense this forgetfulness does make us disconnected because it prevents us from having a personal loving relationship with Him and casts us into an ocean of grief.

The bhakti yoga system is a gift from the Supreme Lord Himself. It is the precise science of how to reawaken our long lost loving connection with Him. If we will diligently practice it, we can quickly and easily revive and become fully reinstated in our eternal relationship in any one of five primary rasas with that amazingly beautiful Supreme Person Who is the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Are We Born?

I have a question. Why are we born? What is the purpose of our birth. Why? to do what? Please advice me on this. Thanks.

Warmest Regards,

Geetha

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Answer: Our Futile Attempt to Enjoy

The soul is unborn because he is eternally existing as confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. But when he desires to taste material enjoyment he takes birth in a temporary material body to try to become happy by fulfilling his material desires. Of course, he never becomes satisfied in this way. If he is fortunate, he comes into contact with a bona fide spiritual master who mercifully guides him how to regain his original eternal position in the spiritual sky and thus never take birth again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 17 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Transforming Vision into Reality

Based on the authoritative descriptions given in the Vedic literature we can understand how in due course of time this entire planet will be transformed by this Krishna consciousness movement. Therefore we can envision a respiritualized world:

Where the entire human society lives together in perfect peace and harmony,

Where all the leaders are fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness,

Where nature reciprocates with the spiritually attuned consciousness of the human society by providing wonderful weather, clean air, clean water, along with ample fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy products, jewels, and gold for everyone's material prosperity,

Where crime, immorality, and terrorism are conspicuous by their absence,

Where people live long healthy happy lives free of stress and anxiety without having to over-endeavor to earn their livelihoods,

Where the animals are well-fed and jolly and are free from the fear of being sent to the slaughterhouse,

And, where all the energy needs of the population are met in a 100% environmentally friendly way and everything is recycled so we do not turn this planet and its oceans into a gigantic garbage dump.

This vision can be transformed into reality if we will purely chant the holy names of the Lord:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Please join with us in chanting today as we engage in the most ecstatic process of turning this vision into reality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Temple, Copenhagen, Demark


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Are We Krishna Conscious?

How and when do we know that we are Krishna conscious?

Yours humbly

Sudhir from Cardiff

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Answer: It's Like Enjoying a Good Meal

It is like the satisfaction, nourishment, and relief from hunger you experience when you have a good meal. No one has to tell you that are getting these three things because you are personally experiencing them. Similarly when you factually awaken your dormant Krishna consciousness no one will have to certify this because you will personally experience how you are becoming detached from sense gratification, developing feelings of love for Krishna, and experiencing Krishna within everything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 16 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Compassionate Care Giver

A pure devotee of the Lord is someone who lives for the welfare of all others. He is always the most compassionate care giver dispensing the supreme medicine of Krishna consciousness for delivering the suffering souls of this age from their misery. There is nothing that compares to the compassion of the pure devotee. He is willing to take birth and birth to save those who are entangled in karma chakra, the wheel of birth and death. Because he has so fully dedicated himself to the deliverance of all others there is no one more dear to Krishna than he. Nor will there ever be anyone more dear. This is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita (18:68-69). If we are somehow or other fortunate to come into the contact of a such an exalted soul we should take full advantage of his mercy by humbly bowing down at his lotus feet and taking all instructions from him regarding we can be fully absorbed in the pure devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Service to Mankind is Service to God


What is your opinion of the saying, "Service to mankind is service to God." ?

Your servant

Swayamshree

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Answer: You've Got It Backwards

This is another one of those symptoms of the topsy-turvy age of Kali when people get things backwards. Service to mankind is not service to God. Just like if we water the leaves of a tree but neglect to water its roots, the tree will not get proper water. Many people engage in welfare activities for serving the material needs of others. But such service, if not combined with spiritual knowledge, simply binds both the giver and receiver even more tightly in the grips of karma chakra, forcing them to continue taking birth after birth in this miserable material world. If we want to do actual service to man, we must begin by serving God and engaging mankind in serving God because this is the only means by which mankind can be delivered from its suffering.

So what should be said instead is "Service to God, is the real service to man," because when we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 15 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Don't Get Carried Away


In this material world death can appear at any moment and instantly remove us from our present circumstances when we least expect it. Therefore we should never be overly excited or despondent over anything good or bad that happens to us in this world. Rather we should always remain transcendentally situated on the plane of Krishna consciousness far, far beyond the modes of material nature and their millions upon millions of varieties of interactions. This is the real platform of happiness. It can easily be attained by anyone who desires it strongly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Vishnupriya Mataji Leaves the Hospital
14 October 2008
(the most auspicious first day of the sacred month of Kartik)

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Concentrate Better on Krishna Consciousness?


I am daily reading email from the Ultimate Self Realization Course. It is really useful. But I am not able to follow some practices strictly because of my strong list of sins and karma. I am not able to maintain the same tempo of doing good things, and I am very worried about this. I wish to realize self, God, etc. Please guide me how can I control my thoughts and actions to think and do only good. Also tell the preliminary steps for me to be in the same noble track... without distractions so that, I can concentrate better on Krishna consciousness.

Your student

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Answer: Get the Higher Taste

The key is to to try always think, act, and speak in a way to pleasing to Lord Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances. In order to be empowered to do this you need to chant the Hare Krishna Mantra as much as possible every day on japa mala beads. Plus you need to give up sinful activities such as meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex, and gambling. By sincerely engaging yourself in Krishna consciousness you will experience a higher pleasure than from any type of material sense gratification. By getting this higher taste from Krishna consciousness you will automatically give up the activities of material sense gratification, which are our very source of misery.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari 

Tuesday 14 October 2008

from Rigshospitalet, Denmark's National Hospital--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Certainty in a World of Uncertainty


In this world we cannot be certain about anything except inevitable death. Therefore there is a saying, "as sure as death." We make so many plans to do this or that, but at any moment those plans can be disrupted. Therefore this world, where we are always subject to the unknown, is always a place of anxiety. If we want true peace and happiness, we must come to the platform of genuine certainty. So where can we find that certainty? That real certainty is found only in Krishna or God. We can know for sure that His plans for us are always being flawlessly executed at every second. All we have to do is fully surrender ourselves to Krishna's plan for us whatever it may be. This is the perfection of our existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If We Don't Eat Meat, Will the Animals Eat Us?


It is said that we should follow the four principles of Vaisnavas. Among these four, one is not eating meat, fish, and eggs. But in all vegetarian foods there are bacteria, so we by eating vegetables we are also doing violence to living beings. How is this different from eating non-vegetarian foods?

Secondly for the progress of life cycle human beings eat meat and fish. Otherwise won't everywhere the chicken, fish, etc ratio will be more than us and they will start eating human beings? Please clear this doubt.

From the Vedic time it is seen that Hindus were never stopped from eating non-vegetarian foods as they did hunting. Was this hunting not considered to be violence?

As you are coming to Delhi on 1st & 2nd December, what is the exact location so that I can come?

Dandavat Pranam

Kirti

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Answer: If We Harmonize With God, Nature Will Be Balanced

It is a fact that by eating vegetarian food we are also consuming bacteria which are also living beings. This means that eating vegetables is another form of killing just like eating meat. So what to do to avoid killing? Should we stop eating altogether and fast until death? No. What we should do instead is to subsist only on those foods which have been offered with love and devotion to Krishna. Krishna prescribes in the Bhagavad-gita that such eating of offered foodstuffs frees us from all sins and that eating unoffered foods means that we are simply consuming lumps of sin. When we offer our foods to Krishna whatever sins may be committed by consuming those foods will be counteracted by the Lord's mercy and we will be surcharged with transcendental bhakti shakti for delivering us from this material world. Krishna prescribes which foods are acceptable for being offered to him. Those foods are from the category of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. Foods from the category of meat, fish, and eggs are not allowed.

We don't have to worry about the fish and chickens growing in numbers and eating us. All we have to do is act in harmony with the instructions of Krishna. If we do so, He can easily keep nature in a perfect state of balance. The cause of all the present problems on this planet is that we are not in harmony with the laws of God. This is why nature is so much disrupted at the present time.

Although the ksatriyas (warrior class) were allowed to keep their killing skills sharp by killing the ferocious animals which threatened the sages in the forest, the Vedic culture has always prohibited the heinous sinful activity of eating meat from slaughterhouses. Sometimes we see that people abuse the Vedic scriptures by trying in a twisted way to use them as a justification for our modern day system of eating slaughterhouse meat. It was because of such abuse of the Vedic scriptures that Krishna appeared as Lord Buddha to put a stop to sinful meat eating of the Indian population.

On 1 December I will be giving the evening lecture starting at around 7 or 7:30pm at the ISKCON temple in New Delhi. Plus on December 2 I will be giving the morning lecture starting at about 7:30am.

Address: Sant Nagar Main Road, East of Kailash, New Delhi, 110065
Phone: +91 11 2464 7005

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

My Dear Subscribers,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

By Krishna's grace the brain scan today did not show anything that 
caused Visnupriya Mataji's hemorrhage. According to the 
neurosurgeon this is the best news. Therefore she is free to leave
the hospital whenever she wants and will probably leave this 
evening to recuperate further in our room at our ISKCON Copenhagen
center. She is still feeling nauseous and dizzy from the blood in 
her brain, which her body will gradually absorb as she returns to 
normalcy. We will remain in Copenhagen until she feels fit for 
some light travel in the region.

The prayers and well-wishes of you all were a great comfort
to us and made a big difference as we dealt with this dangerous
crisis. Thank you very much.

Always wishing you the very best,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Monday 13 October 2008

from Rigshospitalet, Denmark's National Hospital--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Song for Vishnupriya Mataji
by Kirtan (5 year old boy)

Jai Mataji

Without your Mercy How can we get Mercy?
and Without your Mercy what is the use of our body?
Without your Mercy what is the use of our body?

Why did we come to this material world?
What did I do please tell me?
What did I do please tell me?

How can you make me a devotee?
Can you make me a devotee?
Can you make me a devotee?
Please make me a devotee
Please make me a devotee

How to become a devotee? Please tell me.
Otherwise what is the use of this body?

Hare Krishna

Jai Mataji




Rigshospitalet, Denmark's National Hospital
Copenhagen, Denmark


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Four Principles of Elevation

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

In the book "Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead", it is mentioned as follows:

"There are four principles of elevation from conditioned life to the life of liberation which are technically known as dharma, artha, kama and moksa."

What are these four principles? What are their significance, and how do we adhere to them?

It is my humble request for your answer, please.

Hari Bol

Ajit Das

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Answer: Fifth Dimension is Beyond Them

Those four principles of elevation are for materialists to gradually come to the transcendental platform. They are:

1. Dharma--religiousness
2. Artha--economic development
3. Kama--sense enjoyment
4. Moksha--liberation

Devotional service is the fifth dimension beyond liberation. In other words, one who is engaged in Krishna consciousness is already liberated. He has no need to gradually elevate himself through these four principles.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 12 October 2008

from Rigshospitalet, Denmark's National Hospital--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Living at Death's Door


Although we have so many plans of what we are going to do in this world, at any minute those plans can be abruptly interrupted. I have been spending my days here at Denmark's national hospital giving my wife, Vishnupriya Mataji, some association while she recuperates from her brain hemorrhage. Yesterday the nurse informed me that I cannot use my mobile phone in Mataji's room that I have to go down to the hospital lobby to use it. So I did that to contact my disciple, Guru Das, to inform him of our new schedule for being picked up at the boat dock in Tallinn, Estonia. However, on the way back up the ninth floor in an elevator full of people the elevator got stuck for about twenty minutes. Many thoughts went through my mind at that time. I was thinking that here I am endeavoring to help Mataji regain her health but now in the midst of all this I could die in an elevator accident. What if the cable were to break and we were to drop to the bottom of the elevator shaft? I realized that in this world we are living at death's door at every minute. Therefore we must always remain in Krishna consciousness in all times, places, and circumstances so that when inevitable death finally comes we can peacefully and easily make a safe passage into the transcendental dimension, that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Maya an Obstacle?


I need some guidance and thought I should turn to You. Is maya an obstacle? Or is it a requirement to achieve Krishna-prema, pure love of Krishna?

Your servant,

Hiten

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Answer: Heavy Fog Blocks Us from Krishna

Maya means illusion, that which is not. It is an obstacle, the covering that separates us from the Krishna-prema, the pure love of God that is currently present within our hearts. Just as a heavy fog prevents us from seeing the sun, maya prevents us from being connected with Krishna. When we are under the influence of maya we misidentify ourselves with the material body taking it to be our actual self. And thus we dedicate ourselves to only serving our bodily needs neglecting the service of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 11 October 2008

from Rigshospitalet--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

The Keenest, Most Desirable Pleasure

Considering those things that are held to be the most desirable by the human society, there is no one who is in a more desirable, keener position than Krishna. Since He is God, He owns everything and everything exists simply for His enjoyment. Unparalleled in His magnanimity, He is the topmost friend of all living beings. This most inconceivably amazing person possesses unlimited power, matchless beauty, infinite knowledge, boundless riches, and immeasurable fame. And in spite of all this there is no one more renounced than He. For someone such as Krishna who certainly has it all, it would not seem possible that He could feel lacking in any way. But yet when Krishna considers Radharani He feels Himself to be lacking because He sees that she is tasting more enjoyment by being His servant than He is tasting by being the Supreme Enjoyer. Therefore not to be outdone He adopts the mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani to becomes His own devotee and thus tastes the keenest, most desirable pleasure of them all, to be a devotee of Krishna. Krishna becomes a Hare Krishna, He becomes Lord Caitanya in order to experience happiness exponentially.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Hopeful News!
Vishnupriya Mataji Health Update



http://www.backtohome.com/images/Visnupriya.JPG

Dear Readers,

Vishnupriya Mataji is now recuperating from a subarachnoidal hemorrhage, a ruptured blood vessel in her brain, in Denmark's National Hospital in Copenhagen. Although currently feeling headache, weakness, and nausea, she is in her normal good Krishna conscious spirits. It appears from the testing done so far that she may be free to leave the hospital on Monday 13 October. Our heartfelt thanks to all of those who offered their prayers, well-wishes, and contributions to help her in this time of great need.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: Happiness Has Value Only If There Are Difficulties

Respected Sir,

What is the purpose of life?

Why should there be a purpose at all to live?

I did have happiness in this life. So what if I am going to die? I know I am going to be born again, and I will get some happiness in my next life too. Please clarify as to why should I make any effort to go back to Krishna?

Happiness has value only if there are difficulties.

Brigadier N S S Krishna VSM ( Retired )

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Answer: You Have Not Tasted Absolute Happiness

The purpose of life is to re-establish our lost loving relationship with the Supreme Person. If there was no purpose, we wouldn't even exist to enquire about the purpose of life. Just like the thirst for water indicates the existence of water, the fact that you are inquiring about the purpose of life indicates that life has a purpose. If life had no purpose, you would not be inquiring about what is life's purpose.

It is a fact that if you don't go back to Krishna, you will take birth again. And it is also a fact that just as in this life you had some enjoyment, in your next life you will also get some enjoyment. So one could ask, "Why is it necessary to go back to Krishna if I can get enjoyment in this material world?" The answer is that there is no real enjoyment in this world. The only enjoyment experienced here is a shadow of enjoyment. And even that shadow is in the middle of so much suffering that we are constantly undergoing. So why settle for a life only of illusory happiness? If I offered you a job that did not pay real money that only paid illusory money, would you take it?

Your statement that happiness only has value if there are difficulties is like saying that food only has nutritional value for those who have experienced starvation. I have never experienced starvation in my entire life, but still I find food to be very valuable both in regards to taste and nutrition. So why do I have to experience difficulties to feel happy? This is not at all necessary. This sort of happiness which you describe is known as relative happiness. It is not real happiness. Real happiness is absolute happiness. It does not depend upon the experience of difficulties for its existence. One who has never tasted absolute happiness can only conceive of relative happiness. Only a transcendentalist can experience absolute happiness. One who wants to taste absolute happiness simply requires the merciful instructions of a bona fide transcendentalist. If he will follow those instructions, he will also experience transcendental absolute happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 10 October 2008

from Rigshospitalet--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

Whatever Krishna Wants

We must trust the Supreme Personality of Godhead that whatever He plans for us is best. Due to our material attachments it is sometimes incomprehensible to us why He acts in certain ways. But from the revealed scriptures and great saintly teachers we learn that the Lord is acting perfectly for our highest self interest at every minute. Even though we have forgotten Him, He still takes us as His dearmost children and always is always lovingly making all arrangement to induce us to resume a life of devotion to Him so that we will become qualified to return to our original home in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Convince Atheists?

How can a devotee convince atheists (especially scientific ones) about the existence of God? Should one even be concerning oneself with such affairs or should he just be focused on serving the Lord with devotion and not worrying about matters such as atheists?

Varun

Sydney, Australia

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Answer: The Supreme Operator

In this age our number one service to the Lord is to preach His message to the world. Therefore you can tell them:

1. Every machine has an operator
2. The cosmos is a gigantic machine
3. Therefore the cosmos also has an operator

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 9 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought:

In the Hands of the Supreme Puppeteer

We make and execute our plans how we can serve the Lord to our best capacity. This is our duty. But at the same time we have to realize that at any time Krishna can override our plans with His plans. Just like at the present moment I was scheduled to be travelling and preaching in the Baltic states, but now by Krishna's arrangement I am here in Copenhagen serving a great Vaisnava, Srimati Vishnupriya devi dasi. Devotees in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia were eagerly awaiting our arrival, but now we are forced by Krishna's plan to disappoint them at least for the time being. As it stands now, according to what the doctors have told us, Mataji and I will be able to travel to Lithuania for my Vyas Puja on 25 October and we will be able to preach in Lithuania for about a week plus spend a weekend in Russia. There will also be a couple of days in Riga, Latvia. But we cannot be absolutely sure. Everything is in Krishna's hands. We simply have to fully surrender ourselves to Him trusting that whatever arrangements He makes for us are going to be the best. Therefore we are simply faithfully chanting His names, worshipping Him, serving His devotees, and placing ourselves fully in His hands for whatever He wants to do with us. He is the supreme puppeteer and we are His eternal puppets.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Your Statement is Contradicted

I have a question about something you recently said in a reply to "Other Mantras are Not Authorized?". You said, "The Hare Krishna movement does not say that chanting Hare Krishna is only the way." This is very confusing to me, because (although I cannot recall where) I think it was Srila Rupa Goswami who said something to the effect of: "Chanting the holy names of God is the only way. It is the only way. It is the only way. It is the only way." This directly contradicts your statement. I politely request an explanation.

Thank you.

Humbly,

Cody

---------------------------------------
Answer: Carefully Read my Statement Again. There is no Contradiction

The quote you mention is not from Srila Rupa Goswami. It is from the Brihad-Naradiya Purana. This quote does not at all negate what I have stated. It says simply that chanting God's holy names is the only way. It does not say that chanting Hare Krishna is the only way.

In this regard kindly note that we must be careful to always understand Krishna consciousness as a science not to fanatically take it as a sentimental religion.

Lord Caitanya has clearly confirmed in His Siksastakam prayers that there are hundreds and millions of names of God that can be chanted for spiritual perfection. Although it is stated that out of all these names Hare Krishna is the best, it is nowhere stated in scripture or by any bona fide spiritual master that chanting Hare Krishna is the only way to attain perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 8 October 2008

from Denmark's National Hospital--Copenhagen, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Realizations from Vishnupriya Mataji

Vishnupriya Mataji is now hospitalized in Copenhagen at Denmark's national hospital know as Rigshospitalet, which means The Kingdom's Hospital in Danish. She is slowly recovering from the effects of a subarachnoidal hemorrhage, a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. Her brain remains full of blood from the bleed giving her nausea and a bad headache. Over several weeks these symptoms will subside as her body gradually absorbs the blood. In about two weeks the inside of her brain will be minutely examined to see if the point of rupture can be located. If found, the rupture will then be repaired through brain surgery. Such delicate surgical procedures are not without risk. So we are begging Krishna for His protective mercy in this regard.

On Monday 6 October 2008, when she was being transported 150 kilometers from the hospital in Odense to the national hospital in Copenhagen, even though it was difficult for her to speak, Vishnupriya Mataji kindly shared with us, as captured in the following video clip, her realizations from this experience which brought her dangerously close to death:

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Vishnupriya Mataji in Ambulance

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Original Personality of Godhead?


Kindly advise me, an ignorant, uneducated person who is still a beginner on this magnificent path of Krishna Consciousness. I was asked by someone, who came from whom? Krishna or Vishnu? Someone told me that Lord Ram and Krishna was born on earth and they came from Vishnu who was never born on earth. But I read that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Kindly advise a fallen soul like myself, so I can advise others like me who question me on this.

P.Hariram

---------------------------------------
Answer: Krishna

According to authoritative Vedic literatures such as the Srimad Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna is the origin of everything. This includes all the other incarnations of God, all the ordinary living beings, and all forms of matter as well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Tuesday 7 October 2008

from the Odense University Hospital--Odense, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Voyage

The lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna are the most suitable boat for carrying us over this dangerous ocean of material existence. These sweet lotus feet carry us quickly and easily into the transcendental kingdom of God where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. In that amazingly splendorous spiritual sky there is no fear from any kind of danger because in that abode all types of dangerous situations are conspicuous by their absence. If we want to purchase a ticket for this ultimate voyage, we must pay the price. What is the price for this most valuable of all tickets? The price is quite reasonable. It is not unaffordable even for the poorest man. The price for this ultimate voyage back to home, back to Godhead is faith. One simply has to execute this process with firm faith that this Krishna consciousness will save him from all dangers. Through this sublime method one will then feel how at every moment he is being transported across the dangerous material ocean back to his original home in the spiritual world. And then in due course of time he will arrive there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Does Not Reveal Himself?

Why God, Lord Sri Krishna, does not appear before us or at least come in our sweet dreams? We love Him so much. As we have read about the past glories and have come across descriptions of His appearance and disappearance.

Why is He sending messengers such as Lord Jesus Christ?

I know that He reveals Himself only to His devotees. Why can't He disclose His visvarupa, His universal form, to the whole world? Correct me if I am wrong. Kindly enlighten me.

Yours truly,

S. Raghavan Kadambi

---------------------------------------
Answer: The Owl Should Open His Eyes

First we must take full advantage of Lord Krishna in the ways that He already manifested. Then we will be qualified to realize Him further. He has already fully manifested before us in the form of His holy names and in the form the Deities. He has also manifested in the form of His messengers, the bona fide spiritual masters, who although not God are invested with the potency of God for enlightening the illusioned souls of this world.

The Lord is fully available for all of us to see Him within everything and everything within Him. Simply we must qualify ourselves by anointing our eyes with the salve of love of God. There is no point in the owl complaining that the sun will not reveal itself while the owl keeps his eyes tightly closed shut. If he wants to see the sun all he has to do is open his eyes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Vyas Puja Celebration on 25 October

My Dear Subscribers of the Ultimate Self Realization Course,

All Glories to Sri Guru and Lord Krishna.

Saturday Oct 25th 2008, is the day this year that devotees
all over the world will be celebrating the most auspicious 
appearance day (birthday) of His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari.

The Spiritual Master's birthday is also called Vyasa Puja day as 
he is a bonafide representative of the literary incarnation of
Vyasadeva, who compiled the Vedic wisdom.

Honoring the Spiritual Master is the most important aspect in our
devotional life for advancing in Krishna consciousness because 
Krishna says that He will accept our devotion if it is offered to 
Him through the transparent via medium of the bona fide Spiritual 
Master. The scriptures reveal that when we offer devotional 
service and take shelter at the lotus feet of the Spiritual 
Master, Krishna is most pleased. Srila Gurudeva is the most 
confidential representative of the Lord since he is teaching us 
the most confidential knowledge about Lord Krishna.

This year's auspicious Vyasa Puja celebration will be held in
Kaunas, Lithuania on October 25th.  You are most welcome to come
to Lithuania to attend it. Since this may not be practical for 
many of us to physically be present in the celebrations, we can 
still participate in the ceremony by offering words of 
glorification and by offering Guru Dakshina, monetary offerings to
support Srila Gurudeva's preaching activities:
Please use this link for offering Guru Dakshina:
www.ultimateselfrealization.com/donate
Please send in your messages and pictures of Srila Gurudeva, to
amarendars@gmail.com by the end of 15th October. I will be
compiling a soft copy of all the homages into a pdf format and
publish online for your spiritual reading pleasure.

At your Service

Abhay Charan Das
Monday 6 October 2008

written in the Odense University Hospital Neuro Intensive Unit--Odense, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Beyond the Covering


This material world is full of uncertainties. Just when we feel that we have everything under control and our life is going on very nicely--Whamoo!--we get zapped by the exacting laws of the material nature. Even though they are very heavy, those times when disaster strikes are a golden opportunity for us to become very sober and see the material world for exactly what it is, a covering of the actual reality that lies beyond it. There is no need for us to become disturbed or carried away by the melodrama of this material existence. We simply need to situated ourselves far beyond it in a transcendental loving relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then we can always feel transcendental happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does it Mean to Pray?

I was very shocked and upset to hear that Vishnupriya Mataji has become ill and needs hospital care. I am keeping her in my prayers, for a fast recovery and good health.

When I heard about this I thought about prayer, and what it means to pray. I realized I am not clear on this topic. What does it mean to pray to Sri Krishna? How is that we still ask for Krishna to intervene with our lives [ask Him to do things for us] when he already has a plan for us laid out?

Your Humble Servant,
Bhaktin Geri-Lynn

---------------------------------------
Answer: Begging for Devotional Service

Thank you very much for your prayers. I am sure that they were heard by Lord Krishna and have had a positive effect on Vishnupriya Mataji's health. I personally informed Mataji that you have prayed on her behalf.

You have raised a proper philosophical question regarding what does it mean to pray. While materialists pray to God to fulfill their material desires, the transcendental devotees of the Lord simply pray for devotional service. They pray that they can be engaged in pure devotional service and that all others can be engaged in pure devotional service.

Sometimes when there is great difficulty in the execution of devotional service devotees helplessly call out to the Lord begging His mercy so that they and other devotees may be able to continue their devotional service without difficulty. Even though the devotees know that the Lord's plans are perfect, they also know that the Lord can modify His plans being moved by the heartfelt pleas of His devotees. Of course, they ultimately leave the outcome up to the Lord.

This morning I was speaking with Mataji. In a joyful good-humored mood she said that it would have really been auspicious if she had left her body when her brain hemorrhaged because at that moment she was leading the mangala arati kirtan in the temple in front of the deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Srila Prabhupada. This shows how the devotee joyfully accepts whatever outcome the Lord arranges.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Sunday 5 October 2008
From: Odense University Hospital--Odense, Denmark

My Dear disciples, friends, and well-wishers,

Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for
all of your wonderful prayers for Visnupriya
Mataji. From all over the world we experienced
a shower of love coming from the devotees. The 
devotees here in Denmark have been especially 
helpful going out their way to help us in every
possible way.

Vishnupriya Mataji has just come out of testing.  
She had a ruptured blood vessel in her brain. Krishna
was very kind to her because in 10% of these cases 
instant death is the result. The good news is that she is
in pretty good shape considering the circumstances.
She did not have a stroke and did not lose consciousness.
The bleeding has stopped, although she has currently
has a brain full of blood which is making her naseous.
The body will gradually absorb the blood.  In today's 
test they could not find the place where the rupture took
place. If they had found it they would be stitching it up 
with platinum thread. She will be transferred to a hospital
in Copenhagen on Monday outside of intensive care. After
two weeks they will again test her to try to find where
the rupture took place so they can strengthen the weak
blood vessel with platinum thread. If they cannot find 
the point of rupture at that time, they will let her go
considering that the rupture is sufficently healed.

For more information about what happened to her you
may consult: http://www.brain-aneurysm.com

I am thanking you all once again for your wonderful
kindness.

Always wishing you well,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Sunday 5 October 2008

from Odense, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Krishna's Plan

4 October 2008. It is 8:07 am. I am sitting here beside Vishnupriya Mataji in the neurosurgery section of the Odense University Hospital in Odense, Denmark. She is fully conscious, but still not feeling well. She is most simply resting in the hospital bed with her eyes closed, and is due for extensive testing of her brain this morning so the neurosurgeons can decide what to do.

In regards to our preaching tour, we have our plans but on a higher level we have to always be surrendered to Krishna's plans. We were scheduled to fly to Helsinki this morning and then take a voyage across the Gulf of Finland this afternoon to Tallinn, Estonia where I was to be giving the Sunday feast lecture and then to travel on to Tartu, Estonia for a public hall lecture on Monday 6 October. Those plans have now been derailed by the higher arrangements of the Lord. I am on hold here in Odense waiting to see what will be the outcome of today's testing of Mataji's brain and then remaining here with her until the treatment or surgery is complete and she has recuperated sufficiently to be allowed to travel.

Of course, on the one hand, while it is always good for us to make our plans how we can be fully engaged in Krishna's service, at the same time we have to always remember that Krishna can step in at any time with his plans to override ours. We have to always be ready to humbly submit ourselves to Krishna's plans whatever they may, whether they are pleasing to us or not pleasing to us. By this surrendered detached mood of always gratefully accepting the Lord's arrangements, the devotee is always fully satisfied and peaceful within his heart in spite of so many upheavals of the material energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:
Question: Counteracting Controversy

Here is my question for the Ultimate Self Realization Course. It is quite open and can be interpreted in any way you see fit:

"How can we, as members of the Hare Krishna movement, combat the Western controversy generated by our movement?"

Varun,

Sydney, Australia

---------------------------------------
Answer: Become Ideal Devotees

Any spiritual movement which becomes prominent in this material world is bound to stir up controversy. So the fact that we are controversial is actually a good sign. It means that we are actually doing something to have an impact on the material society. The way to counteract controversy is that each of us must be an ideal devotee solidly fixed in service to Krishna, and we also must be very merciful to all of those who have not yet had the greatest good fortune of becoming Krishna conscious by introducing them in an intelligent, compassionate way to the wonderful world of Krishna consciousness.

It has been stated that there are three phases of the Krishna consciousness movement: ignore, abhor, and adore. In the beginning no one knew we existed and we were completely ignored. Then by our enthusiastic preaching activities our presence became strongly felt and being misunderstood we were feared and hated. But now we are moving into the third phase as we become more mature in our ability to intelligently present Krishna consciousness to the world society in a way that is highly palatable and attractive to them. This is phase of our being widely appreciated throughout the world.

I do not know why you refer to the controversy as "western". Our movement has been controversial both in the west and in the east. In India we were so controversial that in the Indian parliament the idea was raised that the Hare Krishna devotees are CIA agents working for the US government. It was also rumored that the chakra on the dome of our temple in Juhu, Mumbai was a radio transmitting tower for sending spy messages to the USA. Of course, these claims were all false, but this goes to show that ISKCON has also been highly controversial in India.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
  Vishnupriya Mataji Health Emergency


http://www.backtohome.com/images/Visnupriya.JPG

Dear Readers,

Some of you have requested how to contribute for Vishnupriya Mataji's health expenses.  This can be done through the "Make a Donation" link below.

Your servant,
Abhay Charan Das, Editor

 

 
Saturday 4 October 2008

from on the road to Odense, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Visnupriya Mataji Health Emergency

I am currently en route being driven by Sriman Lalitanath Prabhu to Odense, Denmark where my wife, Visnupriya Mataji is being admitted to a neurosurgery center at a hospital for a bleeding brain. When Srila Prabhupada became gravely ill he authorized us, his disciples, to pray to Krishna, "If you so desire, please cure Srila Prabhupada." So in this same mood I am praying to Lord Krishna that if He so desires that Visnupriya Mataji may quickly become strong and happy. The ultimate outcome is in the hands of the Lord. We do not know what plan He has in mind for this great saintly devotee, Srimati Visnupriya devi dasi. But from our side we are begging that she soon will become strong and healthy. I will keep you posted with the updates.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:
Question: Other Mantras are Not Authorized?

One of my friend was asking me, "How is ISKCON an authorized society?" In support to his question he said that even Tirupati Balaji, Lord Vithhal of Pandharpur, Dwarkadish of Dwarka are the Lords and there they do not recommend chanting of Hare Krishna Maha mantra. He says that in the scriptures it is recommend to chant "Om namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya". At Tirupati they chant "Venkatramana Govinda." At Pandharpur people chant "Jai Jai Vithhal Rakumai" etc.........

So how we can say that all these other mantras are not authorized? How can only Hare Krishna Maha Mantra be recommended? He adds that he feels that in ISKCON like people get bound up in a same circle of activity. I could not answer him. So please comment on this.

Very humbly and patiently waiting for your reply.

Your servant,

Ashish

---------------------------------------
Answer: All of God's Names are Authorized

The Hare Krishna movement does not say that chanting Hare Krishna is only the way. Our teaching is that one can chant any name of God and attain spiritual perfection. We prefer to chant Hare Krishna because it is stated in the Kali-Santarana Upanisad that there is no more effective mantra for attaining spiritual perfection in this age than the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. But we never say that chanting other names of God besides Hare Krishna is not authorized. I do not know from where you friend has gotten this mistaken idea. Kindly inform him that our philosophy is that one chant any names of God and attain perfection.

If all names of God are good, then Hare Krishna is also good. So your friend should not think that it is bad to chant Hare Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 3 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
---------------------------------------


My Dear Students, Disciples, and Subscribers,
Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

This morning at ISKCON's Copenhagen temple, Visnupriya devi
dasi (affectionately known as Mataji by my students and
followers) was leading the Mangal Arati kirtan. Near the end
I was alarmed to see that she could not finish the kirtan on
her feet. She had to sit down to finish the kirtan. Then
she laid down on the floor complaining of dizziness and being
very hot. We had her situated on a cushion and I was fanning
her. We called for an ambulance and she was taken to a nearby
hospital. After some time they did a brain scan and discovered
that her brain is bleeding. At the present moment as I write
this she is traveling by ambulance with siren blazing to another
hospital where she may given neurosurgery to stop the bleeding.
I tried to be allowed to go her with in the ambulance in case
she leaves her body en route to the hospital so I could be
chanting the holy names. As there was not sufficient room
for me along with the two required medical personnel I am
being driven by a devotee named Lalitanath to the hosptial
about 140 kilometers away from Copenhagen.

Visnupriya Mataji has been my constant preaching companion
for over 20 years and she always accompanies me on my around
the world preaching tours. Her advanced Krishna consciousness
has been a constant source of inspiration and blesings for
me.

Kindly beg Sri Krishna that if He so desires that Visnupriya
Mataji may pass through this ordeal safely and quickly regain
her good health.

Hoping this meets you in good health and in good spirits,
Always wishing you well,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Friday 3 October 2008

from ISKCON--Copenhagen, Denmark
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Intellectually Advanced


The devotees here in Denmark have informed me that Denmark is a predominantly atheistic country. And according to a study conducted in 2005, Denmark has the third highest proportion of atheists and agnostics of any nation in the world. We see how people become proud of being atheists considering themselves to be intellectually advanced by dint of their atheism, even if they dogmatically cling to it. But true intellectual advancement means that one should always remain open-minded, eager to expand one's understanding of reality more and more. An intelligent person refuses to blindly accept or blindly reject anything. He is open to truth no matter wherever it may come from. Therefore we are inviting the atheists and agnostics of Denmark to consider the highest truth, which is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Suggestion: Relax Your Initiation Rules


Guru Maharaja, I feel that you are doing a great job to bring Krishna near to the ordinary man. But I would like to suggest to relax your rules of initiation. You should have two types of disciples: those who observe the four conditions of initiation and others who believe in Krishna and His Gita but do not follow the regulative principles. You should not refuse your shelter to the meat eaters of Africa and Middle East. Rather you should bless them to progress to the ideal level.

Please don't feel offended as Gita gives us the right to ask questions to the Guru to clear any doubt.

With pranam,

Satpal

---------------------------------------
Answer: Guru's Mercy is Unlimited

This was not a question. This was suggestion. Krishna does not say to approach the spiritual master and give him suggestions. But nonetheless, because of your sincere desire to see all peoples blessed with Krishna bhakti I shall be happy to reply to your suggestion.

Since the spiritual master is the well-wishing friend of all he dedicates his life 100% to saving all living beings from the cycle of birth and death. It is not that because he does not accept meat eaters as his disciples, that he is not being merciful to them. As long as one has a desire for eating meat he would not be happy to live in the spiritual world because it is a completely vegetarian place. Therefore meat eaters cannot attain the spiritual world. It is not that by initiating them that they would become delivered. They first of all have to become free from the desire to indulge in eating flesh. Therefore it is the kindness of the spiritual master upon the meat-eaters that he requires them to give up meat-eating if they want to become initiated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Thursday 2 October 2008

from Budapest, Hungary Airport
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Duty to Enlighten the World



Although I'm sixty years old now, ever since I was a youth I've envisioned that this entire planet can be transformed into a paradise on earth by the introduction of an all-encompassing spiritual revolution. Therefore back in 1968 I abandoned any idea of a career, dropped out of college, and fully dedicated my life for this purpose. For years I struggled on my own trying to ignite such a spiritual revolution through writing and singing hundreds of songs until I realized that unless I first revolutionized my own consciousness my efforts would be completely useless. How could I possibly enlighten the world when I was not enlightened? It was the dream of a fool. I realized that I needed a spiritual master who could teach me how to become spiritually perfect. Then in 1971 in Austin, Texas I was blessed by the divine association of His Holiness Vishnujana Maharaja, who introduced me to his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and the foremost exponent in the modern age of Krishna consciousness, the ultimate self-realization science. Srila Prabhupada was not only teaching his disciples how to become spiritually perfect. He was also engaging them in pushing forward a spiritual movement for the re-spiritualization of the human society. Talk about a perfect fit! I knew that I had found my eternal guru. So now here I am 37 years later trying to execute the duty that Srila Prabhupada gave us that we must enlighten the world with Krishna consciousness. I am praying to Sri Krishna that we will successfully be able to carry out our duty so much so that the entire world population will adopt the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna as explained by Srila Prabhupada as the guiding principle for the human civilization for many generations to come.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is My Duty?


Please accept my humble obeisances.

I am a Grihastha, a married man, practicing Krishna consciousness as a member of ISKCON. My wife is also a devotee. Presently we both are serving and leading a Grihastha life.

My question is when Lord Krsna says "leave all religion and surrender unto me". Does it mean that we should renounce Grihastha life and live in temple? What is my duty with respect to Lord Krsna's instruction?

Ajit

---------------------------------------
Answer: Follow Krishna's Instructions as Given in the Bhagavad-gita

Why do you think surrendering to Krishna means to give up married life, Grihastha life? Arjuna was a grihastha. After hearing Bhagavad-gita directly from the Lord, Arjuna surrendered himself fully unto the Lord. He did not give up grihastha life. So why would you think that you should? Surrendering to Krishna means that we should strictly follow the instructions given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita under the guidance of our spiritual master. There is nowhere in the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna says to give up family life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Wednesday 1 October 2008

from ISKCON--Sofia, Bulgaria
---------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Cool In Spite of Chaos

It is not surprising that sometimes things get really chaotic in this material world because after all this is the world of chaos. This can easily happen while traveling by air. For example, a delayed flight from Amsterdam to Budapest with a toilet that does not work can lead to missing a flight from Budapest to Sofia, and all of sudden you find yourself stuck in Budapest waiting at the airport for ten hours to catch a midnight flight to Sofia with no proper facility for getting a good night's sleep before another departure the next morning from Sofia to Copenhagen at 6:00 am four hours after your 2:00 am arrival in Sofia. It does not make sense to get angry and disturbed about such situations. All you can do is make your best effort to deal coolly and intelligently with the situation to adjust it as far as possible. And for whatever you are not able to adjust you simply have to tolerate it, seeing it as Krishna's arrangement. If we realize that our happiness is not based on our enjoyment, that it is based instead on Krishna's enjoyment, we can always be happy by always dealing with each situation we find ourselves in, in a way that is pleasing to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Accept Me As Your Disciple?

In regards to accepting a guru, can one accept a guru through the internet, or does a student have to live in an ISKCON temple for a period of time in close proximity to that guru? If so for how long? Can you accept me as your disciple only through communication via the internet.

Mamdouh

---------------------------------------
Answer: Yes, Provided You Qualify Yourself

I certainly can accept you as my disciple provided you become solidly fixed in the chanting the Hare Krishna at least 16 rounds every day on japa beads along with your strictly following these regulative principles:

1. No illicit sex

2. No intoxication

3. No meat eating

4. No gambling

Although it is required that one should have personal contact with his guru, it is not required to live in close physical proximity to him. One can establish and deepen one's relationship with his guru through personal meetings, hearing his lectures either in person or by hearing recordings, reading his writings, corresponding with him, and by carefully following the instructions given in Srila Prabhupada's books.

The essence of the guru/disciple relationship is that the disciple should be fully obedient to following the orders of his spiritual master. Indeed, the disciple accepts the orders of his spiritual master as his very life and soul. Although the training one receives by living in an ISKCON temple will greatly facilitate one's getting ready for initiation, one can also prepare himself for initiation while living at home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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